For many therapists, and those in the helping professions, marketing is often one of the biggest hang-ups we have to building a successful business. However, it is an absolutely necessary part of any business. And as with most things in life, you will get out of it what you put into it.
Marketing is how we let our community know that we exist and that we can help them with a problem they are having. Once we accept this necessary aspect of creating a thriving private practice, how much time do we need to realistically put into our marketing efforts.
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it will be different for each therapist. However there are a few steps you can take to determine what the right amount for you might be.
The first thing you need to do in order to determine how much time you should be putting into your marketing efforts is to know what your vision is for your perfect private practice. If you haven’t yet completed your Perfect Practice Business Plan workbook, or your Defining Success and Your Perfect Practice worksheet, I suggest you do that now. Because the first step is knowing how many hours a week you want to be working.
Once you know the vision for your perfect private practice and how many hours a week you want to be working, next you need to look at how many hours you are currently working.
Once you have both of these numbers, the difference will give you a general idea of how many hours a week you should be putting into your marketing efforts. For example, let’s say in your vision you’ve determined that your perfect practice will include seeing a total of 20 clients per week, over the course of 4 days in the office and you currently have 6 clients. That means you should probably be putting in 14 hours a week into marketing your practice.
As your marketing efforts start to pay off and you see an increase in your caseload and referrals you can start to back off the marketing efforts a little (unless you want to keep them up, then go for it). This formula is a great tool to have as you can always return it with the natural ebb and flow that any business will have, but especially private practice (um, hello summertime).
It is important to remember that you are running a business and you need to treat it as such. And, again, you will get out of that business what you put into it. It may be hard to imagine putting 14 hours per week into marketing, but there is always something you can be doing. If you need help with ideas, download the 20 Things You Can Do to Market Your Private Practice checklist.
How You Can Take Action
Ask yourself the following questions. And allow yourself to put real thought into your answers and write them down rather than just half-heartedly answering them in your head. You’re a therapist, don’t underestimate the power of writing things down!!
How much effort am I currently putting into my marketing efforts?
Is my practice currently where I want it to be?
What am I willing to commit to as far as time and effort until my practice gets to where I want it to be?
What marketing activities am I willing to commit to?
Also, I encourage you to publicly commit to your goals by leaving a comment below and telling us what you’re willing to do to build your perfect private practice. And of course, if you have any questions, comments, or insights, I’d love to chat below.